Little Book Chapter 02: Noe Simple Task
Other Whiskey — Multiple CountriesTastedNose - a lot of caramel, you get some rye spice but I'm not picking up much if any dill. There's a light oak, very smooth oak notes. Taste - There's a lot more rye on here. Rye bread, spicy, a bit hot, and a caramel finish. There's a bit of toasted bread. A very light touch of peanut just for good beam measure. Overall a nice middle of the road rye flavor with a bit of bourbon caramel and a touch of nutty notes. 100 bucks...hard to recommend too strongly but it's pretty good and at a tasting this one was a first second place among people's favorites next to some real stunners so clearly there are some fans.100.0 USD per Bottle
Boone County 14 year
Bourbon — KY, USATastedGallinstein selection #6. Nose - Rich dessert level caramel and vanilla with a good oak finish. This has a bit of the cherry I get on older whisky but it's not really coming out (water doesn't help). This has hints of old whisky but it doesn't get there and frankly at 14 years it isn't really older bourbon which I tend to find starts at 15 years (seems minor but it is what it is). A little water does bring out really light hints of peanuts that I'd miss not looking for it. Taste - I get some cherry, nice oak, vanilla, caramel. The flavors are starting to remind me of older bourbon a bit more as this bottle stays open. Rich and full flavor, really explosive amounts. The oak is really nice here though not exceptional. There's a note in here that's a mix of vanilla and oak that comes off a bit young in the middle of the taste and a bit out of place. This note just keeps killing this one for me and at 250 bucks, I really shouldn't have this one. Heck I think I actually enjoyed the standard 12 year more than this despite the lower abv and 2 year younger age statement. Opening - cherry and rich old leathered wood. Transitions to vanilla and young oak. Finishes with a bit of caramel and a nice lightly toasted oak but still some youthful wood funk. 2.75, this feels like a low score and while I try and leave price out of my reviews and use it more for the reader, I just can't not lower this one a bit for the price tag, it's an extremely expensive bourbon and there are just too many off notes going on here for the price. Don't get me wrong, it's a nice whisky, but I've just had so many better ones.250.0 USD per Bottle
Springbank 9 Year Local Barley
Single Malt — Campbeltown, ScotlandTastedNose - I'll start up with there's a huge amount of alcohol to get through here. That abv is no joke. Lemon lime and salt. A bit of meaty notes. I'm going right into water and a decent bit. Water tames the abv but I'm not getting much new here. Taste - Lemon, salt, meaty peat. Very salted meat forward which is not something i generally get in springbank peat. Touch of vanilla. This 9 year seems like a showcase of the new make spirit aged just long enough and in some really well used barrels. I like what they're doing here, but it doesn't come close to living up to the 10 year. I got this for a pretty good price of about 130 but I've seen it for 170. I can't really recommend it for all but the biggest springbank geeks.130.0 USD per Bottle
Glen Scotia Victoriana
Single Malt — Campbeltown, ScotlandTastedNose - this is by far one of the most bourobn like scotches I've ever had. I'm getting those caramels and vanillas from a bourbon. I get a bit more of a pie and some candy and maybe even some maple syrup. A hint of milk chocolate. Taste - On the pallet I get some fruity notes, some kind of candy, caramel, maple, oh this is a lot of candy. I'm loving this stuff, I wonder if these are oak barrels that they just char, I've never heard of a scotch distillery doing that but there's so much bourbon like character here, but a bit more fruity and just different. Going 3.5, this is an easy buy for most people. I ordered this online and it was a bit over 100 bucks. I feel like this is a profile that will be very inviting to scotch and bourbon drinkers. I'm all over the map on where i want to score this, a part of me wants to go 3.0 as it lacks wow moments beyond being unique but another part of me wants to go 4 stars because of how inviting this will be.
Octomore 09.3 Dialogos
Peated Single Malt — Islay, ScotlandTasted100th review - wow. Nose - Vanilla, powered sugar, custard, some pastry crust, and of course a huge smoke bomb. Taste - sweet vanilla, toasted bread, surprisingly some oak (pop sickle stick), of course huge amounts of smoke. Finish - just a mouth coated with nothing but sweet smoke. 9.3 seems to be a showcase of the new make from octomore and it's insanely good. Creamy mouth feel, huge body, the alcohol is drying. 230 bucks and you can't have enough of these as backups. A bit lacking in complexity and it's a bit drying on the mouth. Otherwise it's amazing.230.0 USD per Bottle
Springbank 18 Year
Peated Single Malt — Campbeltown, ScotlandTastedSpringbank 18 year - 2014 edition. I'm a bit shocked to see that this is a 2014 but 14/301 is what's here and the 14 should be the year. Bought a 2014 longrow 18 not all that long ago as well as a 12 (old packaging) so I guess not that surprising. The box and bottle however look awfully nice to be this vintage. Oh well 301 so end of the year 2014 at least. Nose - classic springbank BBQ peat as I have come to think of it. There's a bit of a wine character not just a sherry note (this is heavily sherried I'm fairly certain). I get a bit of oak but given 18 years not a lot. As it's opening up I'm starting to get vanilla from the bourbon. A very clean springbank nose, much more refined than the 12's and 15's. I'm not sure this is a good thing but it just is what it is. Taste - Opens with a lot of vanilla, transitions to some sherry, then moves into that springbank funk with BBQ and more sherry, spices form, it heats up, and then nicely and gently finishes. There's gentle smoke over the whole experience, perhaps the most smoke I've gotten on a springbank to date. Oh yeah vanilla cream over this nice bitter sherry bite, savory smoke, a touch of meat, a really nice medium finish. Only real negative I have for this one is that it really does drink a bit like water at first before the sherry and peat and sparks of springbank build up and send you on an epic journey. Normally 46% is that almost there but not there spot for a whisky and this might showcase that like no other. 48% would be a game changer. 170 buck, well worth it, and yes I want another bottle or two.170.0 USD per Bottle
Springbank 15 Year
Peated Single Malt — Campbeltown, ScotlandTastedSo my least favorite springbank ever, a few drams in what will i think tonight. Nose - OK first off, I'm smelling this like crazy just from the pour. OK so sherry, oak, BBQ sauce, and sulfur. My first thoughts when I opened this reminded me of a baby diaper that my dog ate as a kid. Now I'm getting more sweet and bbq vs that but it's still there in the back ground. I get a touch of vinegar, touch of salt. Taste - Springbank funk, BBQ (citrus bbq?), nice oaks, salty, savory. No smoke no fruity notes either. Ok so it's more mesquite if that makes sense. Still i get some of that baby diaper stuff, of sulfur. You know this is crazy but this bottle has been open well over a year and I gotta say, it has finally lost the REALLY off putting notes and those off notes now aren't a problem at all. I still don't love this one and it's still not my springbank of choice. This is a HARD one to score because it's so insanely complex, it's SPRINGBANK, and it's down right good casks, but I get those odd flavors. I however know the quality here and accept some issues. As a result an insanely low score for springbank but still a pickup if you're a fan.115.0 USD per Bottle
New Riff Kentucky Straight Rye Bottled In Bond
Rye — Kentucky , USATastedNot sure it's fair to follow a single barrel with this but hey, that's life. Nose - rye spice over a really sweet vanilla and caramel. The oak is muted but it's there when you dig deep. It has a nice baked goods note going here, really getting a lot of baked bread or pie crust. Taste - Rye spice, sour dough bread, vanilla, caramel, a bit of clay putty. I'm really happy with this one. I think this is a hair better than their bourbon and again not a rye guy. It's sweeter than some rye and their is a new riff oak note that's here for sure. I don't love the clay putty note and it's a note you'll eventually get me to HATE on with a certain bourbon I'll get to eventually, but here it's not really off putting. It's just not helping. I really appreciate this one. Good oils are here, good body, it's a nice drinker. A really solid 2 star. For 40+ bucks I'm not sure this is an easy one to stock up on for some as I mean pikeville is out there but I really enjoy this for what it is.
New Riff Single Barrel Rye
Rye — Kentucky, USATastedI've had about 6 of the new riff single barrel rye's and they're all incredible unique and insanely good. So with that said they're all REALLY different, but hey lets do this. No real notes on this one, or even a note that it was a "pick" which is odd (labeling). I bought this from a store that LOVES to brag about store picks too. Anyway to the whisky. Nose - Cherry cough drops, massive caramel, oh a touch of red caramel apples, and way in the back there's a hint of rye spice. Taste - Red hots, oak, oh a huge amount of rye spice, maybe a green apple. Water being added gives off a bit of a waxy note which I rarely get in a bourbon or rye. The apple notes are a bit more red now and the red hots are gone. Lovely mouth feel, really complex, I know it's 4 years old and this isn't one of the better new Riff single Barrel Rye's but I'm fan boying on this one too. I'm not a rye guy but they're doing something special here. I'm going 2.75 on this one. 3.0 for me really is a special score and I want to avoid over using it. I've had a few of these that are easy 3.5's but this one isn't that for me. I'm debating a 3.0 and it's so close but I thought I'd go a bit conservative. If you like rye you'll like this one and I doubt the price is going to push you off. That said every new riff is SO different, I've never had a brand with so many differences barrel to barrel. I'm not a fan boy of their regular rye (can't recall if I reviewed it) but the single barrels just seem to be a hit after a hit with a few being stellar.50.0 USD per Bottle
Isaac Bowman Straight Bourbon Finished in Port Barrels
Bourbon — Virginia, USATastedNose - Vanilla, musk, young oak, funky vanilla, grapes. Taste - Vanilla, funky cheap oak, grapes. I'm not liking this one at all. I love port, I love bourbon...this is crap. I just can't find anything good here, it's not terrible, but everything comes back to being pretty well bad. Sadly I'm stuck with a .75, it's got offensive notes and nothing good.